A Cornell University professor has slammed the school for creating a ‘free speech committee’ which he says is stacked with woke scholars.
Randy Wayne, an associate professor at the School of Integrative Plant Science, fears the new task force will be ‘hijacked’ by the ‘diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) bureaucracy that stifles free expression.’
Cornell’s President Martha Pollack recently announced that the theme of the 2023-24 academic year will focus on freedom of speech and she created the Steering Committee for Free Expression to that end.
Wayne said he was initially delighted by the news but his enthusiasm evaporated when he read the names of the committee members ‘none of whom have championed free expression at Cornell.’
Writing in an op-ed for campus news site The Fix, the professor said that since the killing of George Floyd in 2020, Pollack has promoted the ‘illiberal DEI philosophy at Cornell,’ having previously defended staff from cancel culture.
Randy Wayne (pictured), an associate professor at the School of Integrative Plant Science, fears the new task force will be ‘hijacked’ by the ‘diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) bureaucracy that stifles free expression’
Cornell’s President Martha Pollack pictured with Democrat Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer
Cornell, which costs more than $80,000 per year, is one of several top Ivy League schools including Harvard and Yale which offer DEI teaching.
The colleges believe that students must be educated on how to avoid being racist or prejudiced – even in ways they may not realize, known as ‘unconscious bias.’
The Marxist ideology is not simply confined to campuses, but is now well known to workers from Wall Street to Walmart whose bosses require the ‘inclusion’ courses.
High school kids are even being pushed the teaching. At one $54,000-per-year Manhattan prep, staff demanded the school hire a full time employee whose ‘entire role is to support Black students who come forward with complaints.’
Wayne lashed several members of Cornell’s new committee who he said were beholden to the pervasive woke ideology.
He named member G.S. Hans, a law professor, whose faculty bio says his research has a ‘particular focus on social justice and diversity, equity, and inclusion.’
Then there is the Vice President for University Relations Joel Malina, another committee member, who Wayne claims was ‘an impediment’ to the reinstating of a Lincoln bust in the school’s library which was removed last year after a complaint.
He said that member Eve De Rosa, the dean of faculty who said she is interested in bringing ‘more diversity’ to the school, ignored all of his emails ‘questioning the harmful effects of mandatory critical race theory’.
Wayne said he had written to every committee member on April 19 asking for copies of their published work on free speech. ‘It’s almost mid-May. None of them have responded’, he said.
In a stinging conclusion, the biology professor said: ‘In 2017, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni awarded President Pollack the Heroes of Intellectual Freedom Award for being an outspoken supporter of free expression and for urging faculty to take more intellectual risks and not to worry about reprimand.
‘However, since the killing of George Floyd, things have changed, and Pollack has promoted the illiberal DEI philosophy at Cornell.
‘The American Council for Trustees has pointed out that the university is struggling to protect free expression and intellectual diversity on campus, placing 154th out of 203 colleges in FIRE’s College Free Speech Rankings.’
Cornell University, founded in 1865, is located in Ithaca, New York, on the southern shore of Cayuga Lake in the Finger Lakes region. The school has an annual budget of $5bn
Cornell has been contacted for comment.
It comes after DailyMail.com exclusively revealed that Cornell was offering a DEI online certificate that costs $3,699.
It includes courses on ‘counteracting unconscious bias’ and ‘fostering an inclusive climate’.
The material states: ‘Despite decades of legal and social reform aimed at reducing discrimination in the workplace, inequality continues to be a significant problem in all societies and most workplaces.’
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